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Thread: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    [QUOTE=Count Bobulescu;348326]
    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post

    They may not all make money at the current cost base, and levels of service, but it's a giant leap from that, to your suggestion that many of the five areas mentioned by Mowl would receive no service at all from the private sector. I'd be interested to know which areas you think would receive no service.

    Route profitability is tied inherently to the frequency of service. Is information on the profitability or otherwise of individual routes publicly available? I doubt it, unless someone FOIA's it. But it would have to be made available if the routes were to be put to contract.


    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember reading that DB gets a public service obligation contract payment of about E75M a year from the NTA to cover unprofitable routes. That money, or at least some of it, would presumably be available to private contractors also, if it were needed.
    So do what? Cut the route down to one bus a day?

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Hey, I resent that "Outrageous Slur"... ..otherwise welcome...Don't be coy about your location, or everyone here will think Interpol is on your tail, and start inquiring about the reward money.
    I'm less worried about InterPol than I am about the trolls on some other less reputable Irish political sites. A recent experience on another well-known board brought home the dangers of releasing any personal details whatsoever amongst dodgy company, even accidentally. Terrible stuff. The welcome here is fantastic though, really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    I'm not sure what having to pay exact fare, the overall ticketing system, the cleanliness of the buses or otherwise, etc. etc. has to do with the drivers strike as they are responsible for none of these things.
    Not much, granted. I was making a general point based on personal experience. Overall I find most services derived from the original CIE national transport authority to be less an authority than a self-serving semi-state with it's own interests placed far out in front of their customers needs.

    In fact, I find many of the states institutions to be equally appalling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    Because they do not all make money.

    People seem to forget, and perhaps it's the profit hungry land we live in, that public services are just that - services. They are not there to make money, but to serve the community.
    This I agree with. People within positions of power do tend to forget or overlook the need for well-functioning state services. A thoroughly overhauled and streamlined service in public transport offers a million positive knock-on effects in every imaginable way, whereas a barely reliable, dysfunctional transport system like the one in use in Dublin right now tends to disrupt the flow of business, socialising, tourism, and other general progress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Well, if you were running a company for profit and operation A and B made money but operation C and D did not would you continue with the latter two as a service to people who used them?
    As I recall, there was a private company in business across Dublin back around 2006/2008 which I used on several occasions as an alternative to Dublin Bus. Though slightly more expensive, the first and most immediate appeal the lines offered was that they circled the city and crossed the suburbs, as opposed to the Dublin Bus style of operation where one always has to take a line first into the city, and then had to take the next line back out again to one's final destination. There were many occasions where one had to use the lines in this manner with the result that one ended up traveling several times the distance to get to a location just a few miles from one's residence. This adds many hours per week to one's frustration sitting in traffic or standing at bus stops when one could be infinitely more productive if serviced in a logical manner.

    The private bus line circumvented that idea and instead traversed the county throughout all the major suburbs, mostly avoiding the city centre at all. For example, I could get from the airport out to Castleknock in minutes, and all that for around a fiver. From Blanchardstown to Swords with similar ease and little expense, avoiding city traffic and so on. Simple logic.

    After all, it's the folk in the working class suburbs out into Dublin south, west, and north who rely on Dublin Bus the most, not the families living out along the moneyed coastlines from Bray to Howth. Besides, they already have the DART.

    Can't remember the name of the company, but the buses were small and colourful in red and yellow, and they were just half the size of a regular Bombardier or double-decker. Cheap and cheerful, busy little bees, and the staff were generally very cordial and helpful - even though many drivers were of ethnic origin: Poles, Africans, Eastern Europeans, Asians, etc. A great service at the time, I don't believe it's running anymore. I could be wrong on that one though. But they saw an opening through the flaws in the state system and went for it.

    I was happy to support their enterprise.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    [QUOTE=Saoirse go Deo;348343]
    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post

    So do what? Cut the route down to one bus a day?
    You're the one making the claim that the private sector would discontinue service entirely. You carry the burden of explaining your position. Your reply above, with a question to my question, doesn't even begin to explain anything.


    I'll repeat, of the five areas that Mowl identified, and you referenced with a claim that under private management "many......would have no bus at all" could you please identify which of these areas you think would suffer?
    If you are going to make a sweeping claim, you should have at least some basis with which to try to stand it up. So far, you've shown nothing.
    Last edited by Count Bobulescu; 05-08-2013 at 04:03 PM.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember reading that DB gets a public service obligation contract payment of about E75M a year from the NTA to cover unprofitable routes. That money, or at least some of it, would presumably be available to private contractors also, if it were needed.
    Why would anyone pay a subsidy to a private company that is pocketing profits on certain routes to provide a service on unprofitable routes? That makes absolutely no sense.

    And, as an aside, DB transports hundreds of thousands of people every day. Contrary to much of the hyperbole and general nonsense posted on this thread it does not provide a bad service in my experience.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Route profitability is tied inherently to the frequency of service. Is information on the profitability or otherwise of individual routes publicly available? I doubt it, unless someone FOIA's it. But it would have to be made available if the routes were to be put to contract.
    Route profitability I would have thought to be more directly associated with demand. And it doesn't matter to the argument really whether we know exactly which routes are unprofitable. We know that many are which is why there is a government subsidy.

    Privitisation has been a disaster for public transport systems, to my knowledge, pretty much wherever it has been introduced. The train service in Britain immediately comes to mind.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    And, as an aside, DB transports hundreds of thousands of people every day. Contrary to much of the hyperbole and general nonsense posted on this thread it does not provide a bad service in my experience.
    I'd agree with this up to a point, in that Dublin Bus do indeed service very, very many citizens in the course of their working day. But that said, and as with every other state body, there's massive room for improvement.

    What may very well have worked successfully in the formula applied in the eighties and nineties by the then CIE may not necessarily be the correct formula for the Dublin Bus of modern times, and the ever-evolving standards such as those in use in my present location might well be a worthwhile model to observe in order to learn some lessons in how a transport company can be both a reliable public service and a profitable business.

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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Mowl View Post
    .... learn some lessons in how a transport company can be both a reliable public service and a profitable business.
    The two do not really go hand in hand to my knowledge. If you had some examples I would be interested.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    I would add also that DB has been transformed since the 70's and 80's when it was without doubt a crappy service.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    The two do not really go hand in hand to my knowledge. If you had some examples I would be interested.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    The two do not really go hand in hand to my knowledge. If you had some examples I would be interested.
    Here you go Sam..

    HKL Helsinki, Finland: absolutely, completely, and incomparably faultless - and on occasion they even make a profit, through their business model is primarily orientated around an extremely efficient public service. I can set my watch by these guys. No exaggeration there whatsoever.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helsinki_City_Transport

    http://www.hel.fi/hki/HKL/en/Etusivu

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    I would add also that DB has been transformed since the 70's and 80's when it was without doubt a crappy service.
    My poor old Dad (a bus-driving man) must be turning in his grave!

    He worked for CIE from 1965 until his death in '87.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Three weeks to the day Dublin workers walked off their trams

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Mowl View Post
    Here you go Sam..

    HKL Helsinki, Finland: absolutely, completely, and incomparably faultless - and on occasion they even make a profit, through their business model is primarily orientated around an extremely efficient public service. I can set my watch by these guys. No exaggeration there whatsoever.
    Looks like a great service but it is heavily subsidised according to this report which indicates a subvention of around 50%. I'm sure Dublin Bus would be delighted with that. It's a great deal more than it enjoys.

    http://www.transport.ie/upload/general/2567.pdf
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. FIVE View Post
    Three weeks to the day Dublin workers walked off their trams
    ..and the citizenry walked the tram lines to work and school..

    http://cf.broadsheet.ie/wp-content/u.../07/luas31.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Looks like a great service but it is heavily subsidised according to this report which indicates a subvention of around 50%. I'm sure Dublin Bus would be delighted with that. It's a great deal more than it enjoys.

    http://www.transport.ie/upload/general/2567.pdf
    Of course, with the generally high taxes up here, the main difference is that Finnish people absolutely expect nothing less than a second-to-none service. That's what we get too.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Why would anyone pay a subsidy to a private company that is pocketing profits on certain routes to provide a service on unprofitable routes? That makes absolutely no sense.

    And, as an aside, DB transports hundreds of thousands of people every day. Contrary to much of the hyperbole and general nonsense posted on this thread it does not provide a bad service in my experience.
    Seems it makes a lot of sense. Cross subsidization is a common practice in the mass transit industry.

    If it's ok to pay a subsidy to a public company, what's wrong with paying similar to a private company?

    As I said previously, I believe DB gets a subsidy of about 75M a year, sourced from general taxation. I'm open to correction on that.


    An example:


    State of Md. pays British Airways $5.5 million a year, to maintain a once a day round trip between Baltimore and Heathrow.


    State guarantees payment to British Airways to keep flight | Maryla


    ANNAPOLIS — Maryland will guarantee British Airways $11 million over the next two years to maintain the airline’s service from BWI to London, a move state officials hope will help grow the airport’s international business.


    “It’s the way we’ve been able to keep British Airways, which is our only significant international carrier,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley.


    The state has paid British Airways $18.8 million in the past five years to keep the daily round-trip flight alive at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Without it, British Airways would stop flying to BWI, as it has at other American cities, said Paul J. Wiedefeld, the airport’s executive director.


    The Board of Public Works approved the deal, the only one of its kind at BWI, Wednesday morning.
    Under the agreement, which stretches from April 2011 to March 2013, the state will guarantee British Airways an 8 percent margin on its operations at BWI, capped at $5.5 million per year. In 2009 and 2010, the state paid the maximum amount to the airline as the economic woes dampened the demand for air travel.


    Airline industry analyst John Pincavage said other airports use subsidies to lure carriers to their gates.


    The state estimates the British Airways flights carry about 100,000 passengers a year, 52 percent of them visitors to the country, and yields about $110 million in spending in Maryland.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Route profitability I would have thought to be more directly associated with demand. And it doesn't matter to the argument really whether we know exactly which routes are unprofitable. We know that many are which is why there is a government subsidy.

    Privitisation has been a disaster for public transport systems, to my knowledge, pretty much wherever it has been introduced. The train service in Britain immediately comes to mind.
    Route profitability is usually a balance between level of service and level of demand. If as SGD suggested would happen in the event of privatization, then no-one would go anywhere without first knowing which routes were profitable and unprofitable. That's basic.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Dublin Bus to vote on strike action

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Seems it makes a lot of sense. Cross subsidization is a common practice in the mass transit industry.
    It may be common practice but that does not mean it makes sense. Most of society is organised to put money in the pockets of a few in a nonsensical basis. It makes no sense, for example, for the Irish people to be paying the gambling debts of German banks but they are.


    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    If it's ok to pay a subsidy to a public company, what's wrong with paying similar to a private company?
    [
    This is what is wrong.

    If routes A and B are profitable (say to the tune of 10 Euros a year each) and routes C and D make a loss of 15 euros a year each then in a publicly owned company the 20 Euros profit is put against the 30 euros loss and a state subvention of 10 euros overall is required.

    In a privately owned company profit of some degree will be taken (say, for the sake of example, 10 euros). That leaves 10 euros to be put against the losses of 30 euros meaning that the state will have to cough up 20 euros to keep the unprofitable routes going. Alternatively the service will be diminished.

    It's a crude example but it's pretty much what it boils down to. In a private company profit is required to me taken from the company for the owners (who do nothing really) whereas in a publicly owned company all the money stays in the company.

    As I said previously, I believe DB gets a subsidy of about 75M a year, sourced from general taxation. I'm open to correction on that.
    Yes, DB is subsidised. It's subsidy, however, is one of the lowest in Europe.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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